Believe it or not I have received hundreds of calls asking this question over the phone shortly after the accident.
It know it sounds silly but people who have been in an accident will call right after the accident and ask that question. One interpretation is that the party is in it only for the money and not interested in getting medical help or even needing it.
Common sense would dictate that a lawyer needs to know the severity of the injuries; amount of treatment, total cost of treatment, what kind of treatment and amount of property damage. Some medical treatment has a greater importance than others and some medical bills are more important than others.
For instance $10,000 in Ortho and Neuro treatment for therapy bills supports an injury more than a $10k imaging bill. Many years ago, the insurance company on a soft tissue case would just multiply the medical bills by 3 or 4 and offer that amount to settle.
Then they realized a bill of $5,000 for x-rays etc. is not worth as much as $5,000 of physical therapy. Today all insurance companies use a computer program called Colossus. It plugs in the injuries and bills and spits out an amount the adjuster can offer.
Because of this program it is more important than ever before that you hire a lawyer asap, who focuses on accident cases… to guide you and your medical providers. An accident victim needs a doctor who specializes in Treating AND Writing a medical report.
Though it does not seem right there is a difference between a doctor who says there is a 50% chance of a full recovery and saying a 50% chance the patient will not make a full recovery. For years I lectured annually to the International College of Surgeons at their annual seminar teaching them How to Write a Medical/Legal Report.
A patient needs a doctor who does not say “go home and soak in a hot bath and call in a month …and take aspirins if there is any pain.” When you call in a month it takes another 2-3 weeks to get a doctor’s appointment. Thus after a few months there is very little in medical bills. Thus the insurance company argues that if the patient was really injured they would have treated on a regular basis.
When a client come into the office I explain that a lawyer can’t tell you what your case is worth when s/he meets you any more than a doctor can diagnose you without treatment and tests etc.
A lawyer will not even begin to evaluate your case until your treatment has concluded and we learn not only what the total amount of the bills are but are also advised what your med condition had been in the past and what it will be like in the future. Even then it is not a precise formula or process as we have to look at whether our client was partially at fault.
You are an individual and your injuries are as unique and as individual as are you. We can only assure you that our office will obtain the maximum amount of settlement possible given the individual facts of your personal situation.
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Representing the injured and criminally accused
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